Common Eye Emergencies
Not all injuries are an emergency, but even the most minor injury can cause extensive damage to your delicate eyes and tissues. If you have sustained an eye injury, always contact a medical professional for advice. Reach out to us at any time. We would be happy to help.
It is common to get a small foreign object in the eye, like an eyelash, dust, or dirt. Your eye’s natural mechanisms will usually flush these objects out, but you may need to help it along with cool, clean water or saline solution. Occasionally, even something small can scratch the cornea and may need antibiotics to avoid infection.
Larger and sharper foreign objects, like glass and metal, could puncture the eye and require a medical professional to remove them. Never apply pressure or attempt to remove these at home.
Abrasion (Cut or Scratch)
You can receive a cut or scratch to the cornea from dirt or dust, a pet’s paw, a child’s fingernail, metal or glass, and many other places. These are generally superficial and heal on their own, but sometimes they can cause infection and put your eyesight at risk.
If you have a corneal abrasion, do not rub your eye. Instead, see us immediately.
Chemical burns can occur when a chemical enters your eye. While some chemical burns only cause mild discomfort, every burn should be taken seriously. If a chemical has splashed into your eyes, flush your eyes with cool, clean water for at least 15 minutes, then call us.
You can receive burns from acids:
- Nail polish remover
- Glass polish
You can also receive burns from alkalis, which are much more serious than acid burns:
- Cleaning products with ammonia
- Drain cleaners that contain lye
- Oven cleaners
- Plaster and cement
Not all eye emergencies are a result of an injury. Some eye diseases are considered an emergency because of their immediate threat to your vision. If you experience the following symptoms, please call us immediately.
Closed-angle glaucoma causes symptoms like:
- Sudden and severe eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Eye redness, tenderness, and hardness
- Nausea and vomiting
Wet age-related macular degeneration causes symptoms like:
- Visual distortions
- Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
- Decreased intensity or brightness of colours
- A well-defined blurry spot or blind spot in your field of vision
- A general haziness
- Abrupt onset and rapidly worsening of symptoms